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Duel Worlds

Ch. 49: The Truth Before the Journey Home

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All was pitch-black for Kuro-Horo, earlier he and Zoë fell into darkness. KH slowly opened his eyes to find Zoë unconscious on top of him while he was lying on his back on the floor of the late Nova's room, his Soul Paladin deck back where it belongs (the multi-deck holder on the left side of his belt), the big pile of leftover cards created by Shinryu three feet away from them along with the decks everyone played with encircling the pile, the Soul Amulet Summoners are still on their arms, and the rest looked the way they were before he left for the tests.

He pulled out his cell phone to check the time, "January 11th, 2019, 3:35 PM…" he read, "It's good to be home." Zoë groaned and very slowly struggled to get up, "Ooohh… I feel like… I've fallen into… the Precambrian Age." Then she notices KH's hair against the stone floor in front of her and gets up, "OMG! Did you say 3:35? The others are going to wonder what's taken us 15 minutes!"

Michelle's voice was heard, "Got that right!"

KH and Zoë's eyes went wide in shock, slowly they creaked their heads toward the door… there stood their friends; including Mark apparently in a jealous rage. Nobody else seems to notice the extra cards or the Summoners on the pair's arms.

Michelle says, "Calling all bets; I bet $50 Mark will beat poor KH senseless!" Corina says, "I'll take your bet; $0.25 million on Kay if he wins." Michelle says, "Oh, yeah!"

Zoë gets out of the way nervously, Mark charges at KH, picks him up by the shoulder to have him face his own face, balls up his fist, reaches way back… but then as he exerts himself, KH's hair immediately turns green and gets him to withstand the brunt of Mark's punch without any damage, even though the force of the attack sent him crashing into the wall!

As Mark rubs his fist he asks KH, "Why shift into your Earth Elemental form, coward?" Without struggling or at all injured while coming out of his indent in the wall, Kuro-Horo says, "Hey! I didn't do anything naughty with Zoë, we were unconscious when we returned from another dimension for 15 minutes!" Zoë says, "Listen to Kuro-Horo, he's telling the truth." Listening to Zoë, Mark quickly but apologetically bows towards his beloved, "sumimasen!"

Michelle groans, "I've just lost 50 dollars." Corina says, "So KH wins the quarter million and fifty American bucks. No big deal for me."

KH (still with green hair) realizes, "Hey… I can summon my Soul Splinter forms… and I mostly still feel like… me." Matt notices and exclaims, "Yeah, just like in 'Dial 'H' for 'Hero'' or 'Ben 10'!" Aunt Helen asks, "Can you control the power? Do you feel like you're also someone else as well as yourself?"

KH tests himself on changing into a different form; his hair went from green to red, then he presents an open palm… a fireball appeared in his hand. He got his free hand touch the fire, "The fire doesn't hurt at all, and I'm not even burning the slightest bit." KH absorbs the fire into his hand, turns to his aunt, and nods, "Yeah."

Pirika says, "Wow, you now have full command of your Soul Splinters and all their powers. Just to be safe, try to avoid combining any of those forms until you're sure you're strong enough." KH shifts to his Air Soul Splinter, "On the bright side, these come in handy; especially with this lighthearted and joyful feeling in this form." Then he shifts to his Water form, then his Dark form, and then his Light form, then back to normal.

Finally noticing the Summoners, Ray asks, "Hey, where'd you get those? They remind me of the arm-worn artifacts in 'Duel Masters'. And the star-shaped gems remind me of the back of 'Duel Worlds' cards." Michelle says, "They somewhat remind me of the Diadiankhs in 'Yu-Gi-Oh'."

Zoë explains, "These are ancient devices called Soul Amulet Summoners, used to make Duel Worlds cards come to life or something." Corina froze, and freaks out a bit, "Make… monsters… come… to… life?" Nuriko says, "Try to avoid doing that while Corina-Imouto-chan is around."

Tammy was ecstatic, "Please summon a monster!" Corina covered the little foreign alchemist/inventor's mouth, "DON'T!"

Suddenly, everyone's Soul Gems reacted to KH and Zoë's… resulting in granting everyone a Soul Amulet Summoner. Shockingly, Corina, Lilly, Pirika, and Mariah just got Soul Gem Items before receiving theirs; Lilly's Soul Gem Item is a flower petal-like bracelet, Mariah's was a hair-band with a Yin-and-Yang charm that held her hair into a high ponytail, Corina received a Soul Life Necklace just like her twin brother's, and Pirika's was a dagger-like bead on a bracelet around her left wrist. Even more surprisingly, Helen's was the only one who didn't react.

KH and Zoë got suspicious about Helen, "Explain." Helen sighs but then spills the beans, "Okay; Soul Amulet Summoners only appear on their users' forearms in duels straight from the Soul Gem Items or on command to change such matters into 'Duel Worlds' based matter-settling arguments, etc."

Helen's Soul Moon Earring beams onto her left forearm her Soul Amulet Summoner. The folded avian wings on Helen's Summoner unfolded into full wingspan like a bird in flight, with each wing one foot long and half-a-foot wide. She explains some more, "The wing-like extensions on the sides act as platform for the cards to be placed on like your side of the field. Duel Worlds cards radiate with more energy once they were placed into the pockets of a Summoner, so they can be like magnets connecting them to the wings."

She points to the box on the bottom of the Summoner, "This slotted box is the Card Life Box, whose slots lead into a place for your Duel Worlds decks to enter before use. These slots are for drawing from any of your decks and placing cards into your graveyard. It's called the Card Life Box because of the births, ways of living life, deaths, and reincarnations of the cards."

She points to the 6-pointed star-shaped Soul Gem-like crystal, "The Gem Soul Star radiates with two different colors for different situations: white for the wearer's Life Points, blue for each card in his/her hand, red for each card strategy's rate of success in any situation, violet for each card in his/her Graveyard, yellow for each of his/her cards removed from play, and green for the number of cards left in his/her deck. The pockets beneath help for the cards as well."

Helen pulls out a card and lays it down onto the left wing, "A special type of energy coming from all forms of energy you can think of that's apart of yourself according to your knowledge and powered by your bond with the cards you're using helps out in making the monster-summoning and spell-casting possible, of course that's for outside duels involving half of the outward form of this energy coming from others around you."

Helen warns the younger ones, "If you think of just one form of energy to power this energy or purposely let loose the control of the card or have no bonding tie of any kind with the card you've infused it with or purposely wanted to create a real copy, you'll run the risk of straining yourself and/or creating permanently real copies of the subjects on the cards you summon; such as life forms or certain items, etc."

Michelle incredulously exclaims, "You mean if one of us were to create some cursed water from Spring of Drowned Girl from 'Ranma 1/2' by that accident, we'd run the risk of the poor soul of becoming cursed like its protagonist?" Mariah asks, "Excuse me, but what kind of curse is that, Michelle? Bad luck?" Koe answers, "No, the protagonist was male from the start but the curse is to turn into female whenever he's splashed with cold water and back to male when splashed with hot water." Then they turned to Helen, he says, "Back with Michelle's question." Helen nods, "Exactly." Michelle gulps, "Oh, sugar-honey iced tea." Koe sighs, "Better be careful with these." Mariah tugs on her blouse's collar in nervousness.

Helen says, "There's no specific commands or incantations to activate such abilities. While it may take an ordinary duelist, one without a Soul Gem Item, years to gain the power to wield the energy or even a silver-colored Soul Amulet Summoner, which would still work about as well as these golden-colored ones; it takes us to get used to in mere days. Plus with some training, more dueling, etc. your mastery of this and your ability to wield this energy strengthens. Just so you would know, a Soul Gem Item's Soul Gem radiates with virtually unlimited energy given off from its owner's soul. The extra energy given off from the soul and into the Soul Gem is concentrated and enhanced from within, giving off an even more powerful force than ever before."

Mark tests his out, "Elemental Avenger Electro Slime Cammy (alien-female-aqua-being-monster-Light/L: 6/AS: 3200/DS: 2800/HP: 2400/MP: 3600/Strength: 4/Speed: 4/R: PG-13/Size: 5' 7", 20 gallons (160 lbs.)), come out?" A flash of electricity bursts from Mark's card and strikes the floor, forming a small blob of white viscous material. Then that white slimy substance rose and took on the shape and appearance of a woman with blue luminescent eyes that glow with electricity.

Her head twists to face Mark then her body reshaped itself to look sort of normal again, she bows down to Mark and calmly asks in a laidback yet honey sweet and loyal-sounding voice, "What is your command, Lord Mark?" Mark says, "Is it alright if I sent you back, because I was testing it to see if I had done this summoning thing right." Not offended, Cammy nods, "Yes, my master." Then she disappeared back into her card.

Corina quivers a bit, "Ooo! I've thought she'd never leave!" Nuriko says, "Corina didn't feel anything, she was worried about physical contact." Helen says, "It is likely that Corina-chan has a certain sensitivity to Duel Worlds monsters that came to life but only reacts when in physical contact with one."

KH asks, "Is there someone here that would like to use Corina Saiba as a materialized Duel Worlds monster detector?" Mark, Michelle, Tammy, & Peter raised their hands in response. Corina clung onto KH, "You're so mean!"

Matt asks, "What about Deck Guardians?" Helen explains, "About that, playing with a Deck Guardian card actually means either transforming yourself into a Deck Guardian therefore sharing the same strengths and weaknesses and personality alongside yours, teaming up with one therefore sharing the same feelings as it, or equipping yourself with it and rely on your strength to protect, or being one with it ethereally."

Matt pulls out a monster card, "Mido-Green (warrior spirit-n/a-spirit-monster-Universal/L: 12/AS: 2000/DS: 2000/HP: 3000/MP: 17000/Strength: 3/Speed: 3/R: PG-13/Size: 5' 5", 110 lbs.), become my Deck Guardian form." A trail of sparkling green light spiraled around Matt, placing him into a green spandex-like costume. This costume pays homage to 'Super Sentai', with a high collar surrounding his neck, much like the battle suits seen in the original series. He also pays homage to Mido-Ranger, the original Green Warrior, with 5 small Vs across his chest. The silver-rimmed emerald-colored visor has a "V" symbol, representing "V Cinema" (the name given to the VS specials). He has a 40th Anniversary Super Sentai logo on the left-hand side of his suit, as well as a black belt with four silver X's as the buckle, XXXX being the Roman numeral for forty. Matt/Mido-Green calls out, "Midori no tamashii ketsugou mono… Mido-Green!"

(A/N: the Japanese phrase is roughly translated as 'The combination of the Green Spirits')

Nuriko was impressed, "Dude! That's awesome!" Corina groaned, "Nee-san, you traitor!" Matt/Mido-Green came up to Corina and took her hand gently. When everyone expected her to scream and panic… she didn't. Corina said, "Hey… Matt doesn't… feel like a Duel Worlds monster." Matt/Mido-Green cheered, "I may have found a way for her to deal with her problem; it's not a real fear after all it's only through physical contact with such monsters that activates the 'signal'!"

Koe pulls out his armor cards, "Corina… this may be the nicest thing I may ever do before we get back to Tenaku." He hands her his armor cards, Corina exclaims, "What about them being——"

Forced to do so, Corina donned a full suit of one of what was Koe's sets of high-tech armor monsters. No reaction of fear to the armor she's wearing, even when she was forced to touch other monsters with her newly metal-covered fingertips. Mimicking the voice of James Bond, Michelle says, "They always make the right suits for the right occasions." Corina bows to Matt & Koe, "Thank you, Musketeers."

Unfortunately, from that point most of everyone went to going crazy with their Soul Amulet Summoners, including Tammy having some of her machine monsters point their gun barrels at the fleeing Matt and Koe, just to have Michelle save their butts with straw dummies and the aid of a super strong bunny-girl. Plus Melody having tea with some of her Magical Café, Cutie Creatures, Fairytale Guardians, & some of her other small monsters.

After things returned to normal, Melody asks, "Just what is this energy granting us that ability to do these things with these Soul Amulet Summoners called?" KH and Zoë say in unison, "This energy is called Kaijuroku." Helen was interested, "My goodness… that's correct. Where'd you learn that?" Zoë started, "Some guy who looks like Kuro-Horo only older in a different dimension, the same one who gave us these Soul Amulet Summoners, after poor KH had to suffer six tough testing duels. He used to be a living Soul Gem Carrier like us, but a Memory Shard of KH's kept him alive for a while."

The two also explained everything Shinryu told them. Helen asks, "And the name of this guy?" KH replies, "Shinryu." With that, Helen, Ray, Matt, & Koe gasped! Zoë asks, "Was there something we missed?"

Ray gasps, "I guess he didn't check thoroughly." Koe nods, "I agree." Matt says, "I guess he doesn't remember yet." KH asks, "Remember what?"

Helen sobs out a few tears, "Kuro-Horo… Shinryu was… your father."

KH gasped and looked at his hands, which he's used in his brawl with the man who empowered him. The intense feeling before removing the Memory Shard from Shinryu's Soul Gem Item; his muscle memory remembers his father and yet he didn't figure it out. Zoë looked at the Soul Paladin Duelist with great worry, she knew there was some certain connection between Kuro-Horo and Shinryu but she wasn't quick enough to figure it out either.

Kuro-Horo would've been ecstatic if Shinryu stayed with him, then he'd no longer be an orphan and he'd have all the answers from his late father's memories. Now that it's impossible to call him back, Kuro-Horo has to rely on the memory of others. His tears ran down his face, "My father… was him?"

A strong and fast suntanned hand with a red triangle on top appeared resting on KH's shoulder! That hand belonged to KH's primary Soul Paladin of the fire element, Mikey Solar the Flare Knight. "Kid master," said the fiery Soul Paladin, "it's not easy, your old man was just giving you power so that you'll be stronger but he had a yearning to reunite with his wife in heaven, your mother."

The primary Soul Paladin of earth, Clay Oakhurst the Quartz Star, also appeared, "Your father made a big sacrifice for your sake. He wasn't expecting his death but he knew that it isn't right to be separated from his family, but he has watched over you in spirit and wishes for you to enjoy your life your way."

Soul Paladin Sylphy Windy the Topaz Wing appeared, along with the other three Soul Paladins. Ariel Splash the Loving Lotus says, "You're not alone: aside from having us, you've got good friends and your Aunt Helen." Nick Midnight the Lunar Punisher begrudgingly says, "Despite what he did, he still loved you with all his heart to the very end." Amy Starlight the Angelic Heart softly embraces KH, "Please don't dwell too hard on these things; you've got more adventures awaiting for you and you know it."

KH lightens up and lightly smiles as his Soul Paladins returned to their cards, "I guess with a high enough level or an unlimited supply of Kaijuroku, your monsters can take this opportunity to help you out." Zoë nods, "I somewhat agree." Ray had Makido Zatch appear behind him and they both nod in agreement and unison.

Then everyone notices Helen isn't anywhere amongst them. But they heard her voice shrieking out, "WHY? WHY JUST HIM, SHINRYU-ONIISAMA? WHY DIDN'T YOU HAUNT ME TOO, BIG BROTHER? PLEASE COME BACK TO US, SHINRYU-ONIISAMA!"

After a moment's pause… Corina sighs, "She really needs a lover." Zoë lightly taps her on the side, "Better make that a fiancé and family of her own." Matt finds the ground real interesting and quietly gulps.

—————

Hours later, after Helen calmed down too, everyone hopped on the first ship to Tenaku. From the crowds whom are leaving on the other ships, Jessica, Rosie, & Ashton were seen waving goodbye to Kuro-Horo, who waved goodbye back to them, "Rosie, keep up on building that confidence of yours!" Rosie called back, "I will!" Jessica calls to him, "Find that special girl to spend your life with!" KH calls out, "I plan to someday, Jessica!" Ashton simply says, "Later, dude!" KH called back, "Je ne, Ashton!" Delilah calls out, "Although it should've been nothing more than a memory, I thank you all!" Helen waves back, "I'm glad you're glad too!"

Later… KH asks Pirika, "Do you feel the life force of the Patton pair, Pirika?" Pirika asks, "You've hated them for years and yet you're suddenly caring about them?" KH doesn't respond. Pirika sighs, "Okay, unfortunately they chose their deaths because apparently they knew about the end of the world aside from Annihilation 7." That news alone, put a tingle up KH's spine, he asks, "And… Kathy?" Pirika says, "Last time they heard from her, according to their last recollection… she's living it out in her new line of 24 karat wealth. Doesn't make sense to me." KH nods, "Doesn't to me either." Pirika claps her hands as if she recalled something, "Oh yeah, and she isn't born from either of them." KH groans then sighs, "That's… just perfect."

KH heard Corina shriek, he turned to the direction of the shriek just to have her crash into him, "Whoa! What seems to be the problem now, Cori?" SMACK! Riku came by with a huge slap mark across his left cheek, "I was looking up her skirt from within the shadow when all of the sudden, she found me and smacked me in the face."

Koe arrives and sighs, "Little bro, wait 'til we arrive to Tenaku Island." Riku follows his twin brother, "Tenaku? I wonder if it's true that there are hidden tunnels that lead to the girls' baths." Koe says, "If Brother KH says he's found one when he first met Zoë, then there's bound to be many." Riku asks, "Why do you and Matt, refer to your friends as 'brother' or 'sister'?" Matt (in a Silver Surfer form) joins with them, "It's a habit I've got into since I was born with three older brothers who bully me around; they don't really feel like family to me but my friends do. Koe followed up in this habit since we've formed the Musketeers."

Corina suddenly switched to a very submissive woman attitude and went to KH's side clinging to it, "Let's return to the construction of our relationship, darling." Melody appeared, looking scarily angry at first and then ultra-cute later, and cling onto KH's other arm, "Kay-sama, please side with me on our way back home!" KH groans, "Oh man! I'm going to get a whole harem by the end of the year if this keeps up!"

———

Dare follows Mariah around, she asks "What's wrong, Darien-kun?" Dare replies, "Since I've felt the warmth of Melody's heart's inner fire, I've discovered my new ability to generate and control water in various forms… which has never been in my tribe nor kingdom's teachings. Now I would like to be like other kids in the outside world, as well as be myself; so that I could learn about the emotions we've always thought were nothing more than a distraction and discover what we may uncover."

Mariah says, "It's been the longest time since I've had kids close to my age to hang around with. Even longer since, I've made other friends relatively close to my age and to the opposite of my gender. So I'll be glad to help out in any way I can." Dare smiles, "Thank you." Mariah takes him by the hand, "First off, I'll introduce you to a piece of our 'outer world' technology known as an arcade video game followed up by a dessert/snack food we like to call ice cream." Darien innocently complies and follows Mariah.

———

At the ship's bar over some coffee (Mark's drink) and Ginger Ale soft drink (Nuriko's), Nuriko says to Mark, "Ever since we were reunited, I've started feeling everything she feels and vice versa." Mark says, "So that's how you're able to able to discern how far her reaction activates. I've heard that technique's quite for most people that are subject to multiple births." Nuriko nods, "Yeah, me too. But since Riku and Koe found out they're related, they developed a minor form of this twin sensory perception ability of their own."

———

Ray, Lita, Lilly, & Peter look behind at the islands that were considered the hardest adventures of their lives together.

Matt, Koe, & Riku find a perfectly secluded place on the boat, just to sit and talk things over. Koe pulls out a few magazines from his jacket, "What would be a good subject to talk about now?" Riku stares at the magazines, "How about how'd Miss November 2018 get those?" Koe replies, "Polypropylene." Matt slaps the backs of their heads, "Can't we talk about something else, bros?"

Riku thought hard for a subject, after recovering from the blow to the back of his head, finally he asks, "What was this Shinryu, Kuro-Horo's father, like?" Ray, Lita, Lilly, & Peter showed up, Ray replies, "And I've thought there's not a duelist in the world who doesn't know the previous ultimate duelist in Duel Worlds, who was even greater than Sam Nielson."

Riku had the image of Shinryu in a blue jacket with red metal armor plates appear in his head, with a woman with a wrapped bundle of red blankets under her arms within his secure hold. The he's holding woman appeared to be a few years younger than him, she has long brown hair (but blonde bangs) and lovely eyes (her left eye is green and the right is blue), and she appears to have an excellent figure under the violet dress she's wearing. Riku got the image into complete focus, from an old film poster (which was also one of the first ads of the game) he found in Manhattan, and then loudly exclaimed, "OMG! You mean that dude in the 'Duel Worlds'/movie poster in 2010 was the same guy?" everyone exclaimed, "YES!"

Peter says, "Before he was murdered at the start of the 2013 War, Shinryu was the greatest duelist who ever lived." Lilly says, "They used to say that he was less than a god but a heck lot more than any mortal man on this earth, in the game and in life; like he was a combination of Superman and–– who was that star-headed guy in the anime that featured another card game?" Ray shrugs and replies, "Yugi Muto." Lita says, "It's extremely apparent that there's the Duel Worlds duelist is in Kuro-Horo's blood."

Riku started to pant with nervousness; Koe uses the porno magazine as a fan to give his twin brother some air. Riku groans, "The Soul Paladin Duelist is going to throw a fit once he finds out that he finds out more about this." Koe says, "I don't think it would be right if we just let him learn on his own." Ray says, "First when he asks more info on his family or his past, tell him the truth that you do know and try to keep it calm with him."

———

Zoë and Michelle talk things over with KH's aunt. Michelle asks Zoë, "So, what was this Shinryu like?" Zoë said, "Well… he was the type of person that can easily classified as the perfect warrior with lost hope yet when attacked he went enraged like Kuro-Horo. Speaking of which, he is like Kuro-Horo if he were in his thirties." Helen says, "But with a family on his mind and heart." Zoë nods, "That too." Helen sighs, "No doubt about it; it was Shinryu."

Michelle says, "If you say that one of KH's Memory Shards lodged into it was able to keep him alive long enough to test KH without us knowing it, had enough power to kill a demon lord powered like False Nova, Kuro-Horo is the only one to see their auras when unnoticed by most, and Tammy's scanner-like device was able to identify it as a danger level close to nearly septillion and rising… then what will happen if all Memory Shards are gathered together? How many of them are there even out there?"

Helen says, "That'd leave Kuro-Horo with the option of traveling the world." Michelle snickers, "Then we'd better keep him at Tenaku." Zoë & Helen look at her incredulously, "Why's that?" gulping because of the scary looks they're giving her, Michelle quickly defends, "Who's going to manage the hotel if not the landlord?" Helen mellows out, "I will; I've been the housemother for years after all."

Zoë asks, "What was your big brother, Shinryu, like?" Helen sighs then pulls out from her cleavage a small black book, "This is my Memory Booklet; it's kinda like a photo album of my life but I also have written summaries under each photo so others wouldn't get the wrong idea. Plus, I store pictures of my most precious memories in there, either by illustration, writing, or camerawork."

Zoë and Michelle looked in the pages and found a photo of some smiling teenaged boy similar to KH holding a brown-haired baby girl in pink blanket (with someone in the background waiting to throw a white cream pie from behind), written below the photo was 'Helen Keia Haruka Utamaru w/ Shinryu Utamaru; April 1st, 1993.' Michelle shrugs, "KH's dad was such a hunk when he was his age." Zoë asks, "Why is there a cream pie in the background?" Helen giggles, "That was also the first day I've ever laughed, since it was April Fools Day. When the pie hit its target, he shrugs it off." Michelle laughs! Zoë couldn't help but laugh at KH's late father's pain, "OMG! A great warrior he was indeed; can't even dodge a flying cream pie from behind while holding a baby!"

Michelle and Zoë turned to a page with a page labeled 'Helen's 156th Bath'; Zoë & Michelle went starry-eyed "KAWAII!" In the photo was little Helen playing with a slightly older teenaged Shinryu and a forty-something-year-old violet-haired beauty with a face like an angel and eyes like topaz. Helen says, "That older woman is our mother, Granva Utamaru." Michelle says, "Well, I can see where you've got your bust line from." Zoë asks, "Was it your father who threw the pie?" Helen shakes her head, "No… it was our headmaster Kaijuroku instructor/Soul Gem Carrier trainer; our grandfather."

Michelle flipped through the pages of the booklet to find someone's wedding; Zoë also eyed it and found Shinryu with a blonde-and-brown-haired bride named Brianna Linfin. The title of the photo read 'Shinryu-Oniisama and Brianna-Oneesan's wedding; May 7th, 2001.' Zoë gasps, "He was 24 when he got married and 26 when KH was born." Michelle asks, "If you're really KH's aunt, what else happened with your parents for the 16-year pause?" Helen explained that, and in a brief and simple answer, "Business trips you couldn't understand." Then she thought herself, ("Not yet, anyway.")

Michelle turns a page, "WHOA! Those battle garments have been with you forever." Zoë was curious, "The red top with black buckles in front and blue wrap skirt with a pink bow?" Michelle nods and shows the picture; 'Helen's First Battle Garments and First Bossaball Match at Age 6: June 15th, 1999' depicts a 6-year-old Helen with shoulder blade-length brown hair in the same garments as Helen but with the right measurements. In the picture was a bossaball court and she's holding a tall golden trophy next to her big brother and a black-haired kid who's dressed up like Indiana Jones. Helen smiles, "Shinryu used to buy a new one for me every time I grew a new size. I collect the old ones and preserve them all for kids I…" then she slows down, thoughtfully, "have… planned… to have."

Seeing how depressed KH's aunt was getting, Zoë and Michelle took this as the right time to close the booklet and place it on her lap before leaving her alone. Helen picks up the booklet and shoves it back down her blouse before looking outside the window and sighing out, "I should've thought about it before he left." Then a prismatic pearl-like tear drips from her left eye. Then her Soul Moon Earring flashes a few times in a beautiful multitude of rainbow colors before glowing. "As well as told them about the most useful common ability of a Soul Gem Item, aside from gaining stronger or newer abilities."

———

Meanwhile, with Tamera Sula Suva… she brought out her Soul Amulet Summoner, "She did say that if you let go of the hold and energy it could become real." She pulls out a card, "Genetics Pod La-blaster (equip/R: G/cost: 6000 MP)." After placing the said card onto the left wing extension, a bright blue flame-like energy (Kaijuroku) flared from the card, it doesn't incinerate either her or anything else around her as the glass-barreled weapon-like tool appeared in her hands.

Tammy wondered, "Okay… I can fire custom-made monster tokens instead of attacking while a monster, or in this card, is equipped with this card. Even though I've 'invented' this card… what monster token should I make?" then her stomach growled. "That's it! Some kind of delicious and edible specimen! And big; everyone's got to have some!"

Tammy types in some DNA codes into the keypad above the trigger and a strange blue fluid fill into the smaller tubes below…

—————

Back with KH, Zoë and Michelle explained some of the stuff they learned from his Aunt Helen. Corina gasps, "Kuro-Horo's father used to be like his son at his age?" KH looks back to how Shinryu (his dad) looked, "Does that mean I'll look like him?" Michelle asks, "Did we mention he was once attacked by your great-grandfather with a cream pie while holding your aunt in his arms on the day she was born?"

KH says, "No way." Zoë replies, "Yes way." Michelle slyly implies, "And if you were born a woman, you'd have an impressive bust line like your grandmother, aunt, and mother." KH noticed Corina and Melody turn to stone in shock. He took this chance to slip from their grip on his arms and watch for further results. They look at each other, "Large busts?" then look at their own respective chests and felt them. ("Do DD's count?") thought Corina. ("Damn these AA's!") thought Melody.

KH knew what they were thinking and said, "I don't think about women that much. I never had time to before I got to Tenaku. So I don't particularly care if the girl I'm going to be with is flat or buxom like my aunt. What I do care for is if we get along wonderfully." That alone caused the depression and confusion on the two to melt away into happiness and glee as they chased him!

Something orb-shaped whooshed past Corina's face and out to sea, forcing her to stop. "What…" she slowly began, "what was… that?" Slowly staggering out from the door the object flew out from came Tammy, who appeared to have entered a close-to-narcotic state and is dragging a heavy machine that's slowly disintegrating and leaving behind a normal Duel Worlds card, she said, "The Umi-Chimera monster token has flew away from me."

Corina gulped, "Monster token?"

KH looked overboard, everyone came by, and looked too, searching for what Tammy just made… surfacing to the ocean's surface was a very unusual whale; it was practically 162 feet long (236 tons), apparently a baleen whale when it opened its mouth wide, it skin was blue with gray polka dots, and shaped after a blue whale.

It hit the side of the ship, forcing Corina to fall overboard and land onto its back! When everyone expected her to get up and panic, she didn't; she just got up and said, "This doesn't feel much like a literally materialized Duel Worlds monster."

Zoë asks, "What on Earth kind of creature is that?" Helen summoned her Soul Amulet Summoner and said, "Soul Check." The star-shaped gem on her tool glows blue then gray faintly shortly, she explains, "This technique allows you to identify something with a glow of a certain color of a Duel Worlds card type if it were from a card or not; if it glows red first it's for real and not in any way connected to Duel Worlds cards and it's blue first then it's the polar opposite. This sea beast was a monster token created by an equip card but is now officially a real creature due to wanting to create a real specimen and using as much psionic energy to keep it real." Corina says while trying to not slip off, "It's obviously Tammy's doing!"

Riku asks, "More importantly, what is this Umi-Chimera composed of and why did Tammy do it?" Tammy slowly recovering, but keeping the ridiculous smile, answers, "I was hungry and was thinking of an experiment of creating something and letting go of my hold and psionic energy on it, then I've thought about a lot of delicious seafood and focused it onto one monster token: blue whale, gray whale, octopus, swordfish, & lobster."

Helen says, "Just like monster tokens in the card game, they're not susceptible to exactly being placed into the decks, hand, graveyards, and out-of-play zones because they disappear. When one creates a monster token with Kaijuroku added, they also run the risk of either leaving their remains behind or having to store some new amount of Kaijuroku nearly injuring or exhausting yourself afterwards. Of course, this special technique can grant you some stats of the cards in question." (Genetic Experiment monster token - Umi-Chimera; genetic sea chimera beast (blue whale/gray whale/octopus/swordfish/lobster)-male-chimera-monster token-Water/L: 34/AS: 16,750/DS: 16,750/HP: 16,750/MP: 16,750/Strength: 5/Speed: 2/R: PG-13/Size: 162 ft. long, 236 tons)

Corina asks, "Did she say blue whale, gray whale, octopus, swordfish, and lobster?" everyone nods. Suddenly a massive tentacle rises out from the water and beneath the whale-like beast and snatches Michelle and Koe in one grasp! Koe groans, "Just what is this leviathan into?" Michelle nods, "Yeah! S.O.S.! S.O.S.! S.O.S.!" Riku calls out, "Down periscope!" Riku jumps in to rescue his brother and two of the women, "DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!" but a large red crustacean mandible snatches him in mid-dive! He wailed out, "Mayday! Mayday! Rescue Submarine Riku is a dead stick, we're not going to make it!"

Nuriko said as he held onto the railing, "It may not be a Duel Worlds monster token anymore… but in the words of Dr. Victor Frankenstein––" Tammy (in a pretend despair/panic state with thunder in the background) screams, "I've created a monster!" then returns to a cheery self, "Anyone up for some coffee milk?"

Zoë says, "Hero time." KH grabs onto her shoulder before she goes further, "No, it's Deck Guardian time. I've got the perfect Soul Paladin for the job and I'm willing to risk my dignity on using her power, but you're going to decide to save the day too so you'll decide if teamwork is a good idea." Zoë asks, "Just what are you planning?" Kuro-Horo says, "To either sending this creature to a world where it would belong in perfectly since monster tokens disappear after suffering a returning or destroying ability afflicted to it or just turn it into shark feed." Zoë smiles, "Let's do it, KH! Just let me to randomly select one of my Maho Shoujo for me to transform into."

She plucked out a card from her morph deck and got a lovely young woman (a beauty with mid-length blue hair and a trim & curvaceous figure with an ample bosom) dressed in a blue halter-top with pink seashells (and a pink ribbon behind her neck (on her halter-top's string)), a blue wrap skirt (a pink ribbon sat on top of the opening of her skirt), a light bluish scarf-like veil around her body, a necklace of blue raindrop crystals and seashells hung around her delicate neck, she's wearing seaweed green sandals decorated with gold doubloons on her feet, under both of her ears hung a blue dewdrop earring each engraved with an ocean symbol into them. (Maho Shoujo Urara Umi; ocean spirit/human hybrid-female-spellcaster-morph monster-Water/L: 9/AS: 3300/DS: 3300/HP: 5325/MP: 4575/Strength: 5/Speed: 4/R: PG/Size: 5' 6", 162 lbs.)

(G/R: Like the Soul Paladins, Zoë's own Maho Shoujo cards are capable of achieving different magical girl forms, i.e. Urara Umi is one of the many Water Maho Shoujo forms of Hotaru Hydro.)

The Soul Paladin in question was a beautiful woman with long black hair (with white bangs and blue tipped ends) in white gown along with a dark-blue shawl with silver crescent moons and armed with a silvery staff with golden crescent moons at each end. Her left shoulder has a silvery curved shoulder guard with the similar Soul Paladin sword symbol and golden crescent moon crest. (Soul Paladin Clare de Luna the Serene Lunar Gatekeeper; moon spirit incarnate-female-mage warrior-combined monster-Light/L: 12/AS: 4000/DS: 5000/HP: 7000/MP: 8000/Strength: 5/Speed: 4/R: PG/Size: 5' 7", 150 lbs.)

(G/R: Clare's combined from Soul Paladins Clay Oakhurst the Quartz Star, Nick Midnight the Lunar Punisher, & Amy Starlight the Angelic Heart.)

The two duelists leapt from the railings and plummet toward the monster, KH shouts out, "Deck Guardian Fusion!" while Zoë calls out, "Deck Guardian Power, Make-Up!" First their bodies became humanoids made of colored light in their original shape (save for the Soul Amulet Summoners and cards), then the cards they've selected enlarged and became one with their respective duelist, then the shapes shifted into more like the ones on the cards, then the light around them dissipated forming the newly transformed duelists/Deck Guardians.

Mark, back on deck, stared at Zoë transforming, got a bit of a nosebleed, and fell backwards. Corina, on the whale beast below however, smiles, "Kuro-Horo's got a perfectly good body!" Michelle's voice was heard calling out to her, "Really? I've just missed something good, didn't I?"

Zoë opened her eyes at her new form, "Oh my goodness! Deck Guardian Fusion actually works!" she still had her pink hair but now it's a little longer with stripes of blue in it. She checks her skin tone, it's become partially tanned just like the original Urara's. Her choker with her Soul Heart Clasp is still around her neck. She does feel like both her self and some else too. She's now clad in the Maho Shoujo's ensemble while retaining the Soul Amulet Summoner and her Soul Gem Item, "It actually works?" She felt her suddenly ample breasts with her hands, "100 percent real… it does work! Yokatta!"

(A/N: 'yokatta' is a Japanese expression of relief. Of course, it's also for 'that was good', 'I'm so glad', or 'thank goodness')

A young lady's voice was heard beside her, "What made you think it wouldn't, Z?" Zoë looked in KH's place just to find girl looking mostly precisely like the Soul Paladin on the card, the exceptions that set her differently are the ponytail while the regular monster has straight hair and her eyes are blue-green instead of the original Soul Paladin's silvery light-blue. Zoë/Urara asks, "KH, is that you?" KH/Clare replies, "No, it's Sailor Moon! Come on and give me a hand, Z!"

Zoë/Urara glides on top of the water's surface towards KH/Clare. Corina carefully checks KH/Clare, who says, "HEY!" Corina was a bit surprised, "Wow… 100 percent female in body." KH/Clare growls a bit, "If you're going to go from lesbian to straight to right to bisexual, do it after we get back on the ship." Corina huffs a bit, "Well, don't get upset if someone's gotta save the day, darling."

Zoë/Urara's eyes glowed a bright blue, "Pillar of Seawater!" she threw her palms upward, bringing a tall torrential pillar of seawater from underneath the creature, and forcing it toward the sky. The entirety of its body was revealed; the lobster mandibles were from underneath the pectoral fins, the tentacles were coming from the sides of its umbilicus (or belly), and protruding from its fins were long sword-like appendages (obviously the swordfish parts).

Melody said, "Oh my goodness! It's even more disgusting and far scarier than I've imagined earlier!" Matt nods, "Same here."

Being dragged along with the creature's limbs, Koe and Michelle hardly had much of a good time. He started to notice she was getting close to being half-waterlogged, so he had to defend her with his body! Riku was feeling a lot of pressure being placed onto his waist because the chimera was still holding onto him in its claw. Corina jumps from the whale chimera monster and lands next to her twin brother.

Helen shouts, "Catch that creature midair, if it hits the water, we'll have an adventure similar to the one in 'Poseidon Adventure'!" Peter asks, "What happened?" Nuriko explained as quickly as possible, "The ocean liner called the Poseidon was capsized by a rogue wave before sinking and leaving only a handful of survivors to fight their way to freedom through the hull before it finally sank into the depths of the sea!"

KH/Clare's eyes glowed a bright white, "Gravity Moon Mastery." With the wave of one hand, the water chimera remained afloat in midair. Zoë/Urara noticed the creature tried to struggle its way against them but failing, "With no gravity holding it downward, it's incapable of moving from one spot and the ship's safe from it hopelessly thrashing in midair! Plus eliminating its field advantage gives us more power over it! Excellent thinking!" Michelle calls out, "What about us?"

Zoë/Urara lashed her left arm toward the leviathan, "Seawater Whip!" the seawater from below rushed up, forming a snakelike whip of water, and slammed hard against the tentacles holding Michelle and Koe, therefore cutting them free! Another Seawater Whip caught them both in midair and placed them onto the ship to safety.

KH/Clare checked the moon rising, saw that it was in crescent form, and called out, "Crescent Moonlight Cutter!" light beamed from the crescent moon and formed a blade of light in the same shape in her hand. She went at the tentacles wielding the blade like a regular sword, cutting the tentacles off from the umbilicus completely and clean as dandelion heads!

Feeling the strength from the pincer loosen, Riku took this chance to get off, with one more quip "Power's back! Those little droids did it! Submarine Riku is free!" but his fall was more in the direction of the ship's propellers! Luckily, he was saved in midair by getting caught by a small blue fishhook. "A fishhook?" exclaimed a perplexed Riku, "How is it even possible?"

"May I string you along?" asks a calm male voice. Riku followed the line the hook and the voice came from, all the way to a blue fishing rod held by a teen idol-like young man with calm black hair with blue sides, very crafty and very professional blue eyes, a sport coat, a scarf, and glasses. As for who it was was a complete giveaway according to the Superman t-shirt and the familiar goggles underneath the scarf. Riku smiles, "Matt! Get me back to the deck, dude!" Matt's using some sort of Deck Guardian fusion to save Riku.

Matt/'blue Casanova' said, "Actually, I was fishing for an afternoon snack. I'll just throw you back." Riku screamed, "NO!" Matt/'blue Casanova' snickers a bit, "Just lying." After reeling in the dangling Riku back onto the deck, he changes back into a normal Matt revealing the card he's used, "Urataros, a blue Imagin hero from 'Kamen Rider Den-O'; his specialties include the wooing of women, semi-believable if not convincing lies, fishing, performing battle in water as well as under it, toughness, and incredible kicking power." Riku says, "Better use him a lot; I think he'll win you a lot of superhero fanatic girls."

Zoë/Urara says to KH/Clare, "I'm thinking of using my Oceanic Splash attack! But that would only allow it to perform some water attacks at its full strength?" KH/Clare nods, "I'm going to smash its defense strength some more with one of my gravity attacks." She readied her staff pointing one of the crescent moons at the creature's sword appendages and other parts of its body before shouting out, "Gravity Moon Cannon!" she fired one violet orb after another, each attack snapped off all the remaining dangerous non-whale appendages and placed a few holes in its body.

Ray says, "That's it; gravitational attacks can be very potent attacks if used properly, even in 'Duel Worlds', using such graviton-charged attacks like that Gravity Moon Cannon can not only damage an opponent's hit points but their defense strength too. By eliminating its chance of power in the boundless seawater and suspending it in thin air, its home field advantage is highly negated." (Umi-Chimera; DS: 0/HP: 6500)

Zoë/Urara asks, "Finish it up with my Southern Seas Style Martial Arts attack?" KH/Clare shrugs, "I was partially thinking of using my Boomerang of Crescent Moonlight, but why don't we finish this off together? Combine powerful gravity with water pressure to form one powerful attack." Zoë/Urara nods, "Okay." KH/Clare pulls out a card, "If Tammy wants a meal, then let's turn the remains of this creature into a meal she'll never forget!" Zoë/Urara nods, "Agreed!"

They stood side by side, put their hands together, and shout out, "Lunar Gravity Pressurized Sea Blast!" creating a large ball of water in their hands. The ball shot a torrential steam of water into the mouth of the leviathan Tammy created and it exploded.

KH/Clare presents a magic spell card, "Monster Cooking Implements (magic spell/R: PG)!" belts of various cooking tools appeared and wrapped around their waists, thighs, and right forearms, as well as strapped to their backs along with extra bags of some types.

(Monster Cooking Implements; magic spell/R: PG/cost: 1000 per level of selected monster's/main purpose: select and destroy 1 monster on the field, then increase the hit points of your monsters and your life points equal to that monster's level times 2000)

KH/Clare channels all of her Kaijuroku into a blazing fury then into a large frying pan she plucked from her back (while making her staff float to be strapped to her shoulder guard), making it glow to a red hot form, and drawing a medium-sized gleaming kitchen knife. She calls out, "Burning away the toxins, fats, and oil of this evil leviathan's combination of fish and whale meat while cooking it is the best way of making it safe to eat!"

Zoë/Urara takes care of the falling octopus tentacles as quickly as possible, "The best kind of meal for octopus is takoyaki!" then cooks them with the tools on her person along with her Kaijuroku.

Together, they create a giant red hot pot with bubbles and steam rising from within it and then toss the giant lobster claws into it. "Let's serve up lobster claws; saves up on bothering with lobster-caging, especially to crustaceans this size."

Michelle gulped, "No! I highly doubt that even Tammy would stomach all that!"

FLASH! The cooking tools turned into tables, silverware, condiments, and plates onto the deck. The main course appears to be the giant lobster claws turned red due to being boiled and dripping with butter, large wooden boat-like plates with softball-sized octopus balls smothered in okonomiyaki sauce and grated seaweed, and Rubik's Cube-sized cubes of grilled whale/fish meat.

KH/Clare & Zoë/Urara landed back onto the deck gracefully. Corina walks up to her beloved, even though KH's a she because of Deck Guardian now, "Wow… now this is awesome." Then she went to glomp the poor boy turned girl. Mark groggily wakes up, "Did anybody get the address for that house?" Zoë/Urara kneels and leans down toward Mark to check on him, "Mark, are you okay?" After his eyesight refocused, he had a good eye into something he didn't mean to before fainting away again.

"Darn it, kids," sighs KH's Aunt Helen, "I should've said also that the Soul Gem Items also turn into weapons or tools according to your imagination." Everyone exclaimed, "Huh? Since when?" "Since you've each received them," answered Helen.

Michelle tests her Soul Magic Star Charm; "Cocktail dress?" the cloth glowed brightly and enveloped her body! As the light dissipated, her clothes have disappeared and immediately been replaced by a fancy sky-blue and pink cocktail dress with the star-shaped Soul Gem on her left shoulder strap. Koe was pleased, "Sweet!" Michelle smiles, "Dude!"

Tammy was worried about the food cooked up, walked up to the octopus balls, picked one of them up, pulled out her scanner and scanned them, "Danger Level 0," then she bit into it… her ridiculous smile returned! "Delicious!"

While everyone else was feasting on the meal created by Tammy and cooked by KH & Zoë, as well as try out the different formations of their Soul Gem Items, KH and Z decide to change back where no one can see them transform back to their normal selves.

POW! Koe & Riku were seen being shot out of a pair of crystalline cannons wielded by Tammy while she was eating!

————

Later that afternoon… everyone began looking for Kuro-Horo and Zoë. Michelle stopped by the girls' bathroom because a certain familiar voice making a long and painful-sounding moan behind the door, "Zoë, was it too much for you after all?"

The sound of a toilet flushing came after Zoë stopped moaning. Zoë, back to normal, walks out of the bathroom but looking a bit tired, suffering some sort of stomach pain, and has a minor bit of red on her face. Michelle asks, "Seasickness?" Zoë shakes her head. Michelle guesses again, "Diarrhea?"

Helen shows up to the two, "Oh… I remember the first time I've had it. Of course I was 10 years old at the time and when I've first picked a very adult Deck Guardian form to take, it hurt like hell and I've produced about 4 tablespoons worth and nearly fainted when I was finished: your first Deck Guardian to ever become has had an exaggerating effect on the real you."

Zoë went wide-eyed, "What? 4 tablespoons when you were 10? Normally girls me——" then she covered her mouth.

Michelle gasps, "Oh… my… god! You mean… it's… menstruation?" Zoë got ticked, grabbed Michelle by the blouse, and shoved her back-first against the wall with her feet dangling, "Please, put a cork in it! Now thanks to me not thinking about me becoming so darn fertile, I may run the risk of turning into a slut like you!"

Another young lady's voice was heard, "Zoë, relax." The pink choker around Zoë's neck glows, she remembers, "Oh yeah, that's what the doctor ordered." Then she collapsed to her knees, "Thank you, Karin-Houka-chan."

The other girls and every other guy with the Tenaku gang were confused, "Huh? Karin-Houka-chan?"

Another toilet flush came along, then another young woman walked out the bathroom; she was wearing a most of her unruly jet-black hair with blue-dyed tips in a ponytail trailing down her back and a pair of bangs framing her heart-shaped angelic face, her blue-green eyes sparkle like jewels, her build and figure was pretty unusual; an ample bosom bigger than Michelle's but smaller than Helen's, soft smooth skin, slender arms, hips and legs of a goddess, a semi-tiny waist, and firm musculature. But what she's wearing is a dead giveaway——

"HUH? KURO-HORO TURNED INTO A GIRL?"

Zoë sighs, "It's true. We've decided to hide out over here when we'd change back to normal. But after we did, he turned into a female version of himself." KH-chan replies, "Remember when I've… become a Dark Beast?" Koe gulps, "Who could forget?" KH sighs, "It turns out that I have more than the six Elemental Soul Splinters; I've checked myself and I was right: there's also a male, beast, humanoid, spirit, legend, etc. While my Elemental Soul Splinters are incredibly more powerful than these auxiliary Soul Splinters and I've got control over them, these splinters want some attention so they are prone to come out uncontrollably."

Matt says, "Remember when I said 'just like 'Ben 10''? I wasn't expected something this similar."

Michelle asks, "But what about the odd name change?" Lita says, "Since this female form could partially only be temporary for now, it's only rational that it wouldn't feel right calling him by his masculine name so she came up with a more feminine form of her name for each time she becomes female."

Ray says, "Okay, originally 'Kuro-Horo' meant 'Dark Double'; but 'Karin-Houka' sounds like 'beautiful companion's fragrance'. I don't have anything against it, but somehow it's really weird." Pirika says, "When you think about it… it is kinda cute."

Melody asks, "Kay—— I mean Karin-sama… do you still partially feel like yourself?" KH-chan sits down, "Yeah, mostly; just because I didn't have much control over those guys in the past doesn't mean these new guys are dominant over them, it's just they somehow feel neglected." She notices Nuriko, Koe, & Riku joyfully looking at her cleavage, she quickly covers it with one hand then immediately slapped their faces repeatedly, "PERVERTS!"

Corina covered her left cheek, "Kay my darling… you've just powered up my link with my brother by making me feel the pain he feels too." KH-chan gasps and then bows to Corina, "I'm so sorry, Corina-chan!" Corina softly hugs Karin-Houka, "I'm one to hold grudges… unlike someone we know."

Mark says, "As soon as you become Kuro-Horo again, I'm going to kick your ass!" KH-chan felt the sensitivity of the Female Soul Splinter acting up again, Nuriko knew what was going to happen next, he gulped and said to Mark, "I think you'd want to apologize to Karin-Houka; apparently she's become extremely sensitive." Mark was confused, "What? But in essence, KuroHoro is still a guy!"

Karin-Houka then wails! It was so loud, that everybody had to cover their ears! Mark regretted insulting whom he dubbed his rival, "GOMEN NASAI!"

Finally the former male stopped crying afterwards. Mariah shows up, "Just how'd you feel if you turned female because you were called girly?" Noticing her, Mark sighs, "I'd lose all my dignity."

Darien shows up with a cardboard box holding 6 triple-scoop ice cream cones and 6 spiral-set ice creams in cones, "Would anybody like some ice cream?" Mariah says, "Can you believe it? Darien's never played a video game before nor has he ever had ice cream; but when I took him below he was suddenly a wiz kid and fell in love with the very frozen dessert in all its forms."

Nuriko exclaims, "He rules all the video games in the arcade on the ship?" Dare shrugs, "I just about played 27 out of 49 that were available on this ship." Melody asks, "How much did he eat?" Darien replies, "At first I was curious about this strange frozen dessert made from dairy products and combined with flavorings and sweeteners, so I've asked Mariah-dono for the most basic she could think of getting me. She got me the vanilla and then… WHOOSH! I was craving for the other flavors. So I'd say about a mouthful of 33 different flavors." Melody groans, "You've spoiled the poor child ninja."

Darien presents the ice cream towards Zoë and Karin-Houka then asks, "Kuro-Horo-dono-tachi?" Karin-Houka sighs, "Three things; one: Are you asking me if I was me or someone else or asking me to having some ice cream? Two: In female form, thanks to a Female Soul Splinter I've recently discovered, I'm called Karin-Houka. And three: don't call me 'dono' it makes me sound superior to you." Dare says, "First: I'm just asking if you and Lady Zoë if you'd like some ice cream. Second: I understand the Soul Splinter situation with you and I'm not worried about it as much as anyone else is. And Finally: I'm sorry, but you've got the greatness of a great leader inside of both you and Lady Zoë."

Zoë sighs, "I'll have a strawberry-lemon swirl." As she took a pink-and-yellow ice cream on a cone, she felt a bit happier and calmer after licking some. KH-chan takes a strange green and white one, Darien replies, "Oh, the vanilla-mint and green tea! Excellent choice." Indeed it was; when KH-chan licked the green tea part, soon her nerves were calmed. "Thank you, Darien-chan."

————

Finally… 6 P.M. on the next day, Kuro-Horo changed back to normal. During that time, the girls took that time to teach him the things about what it's also like to be female before they'd get back to the island hotel. Dare helped Nuriko become more familiar with the changes over the video game world over the last 6 years he's missed, although the poor guy was defeated by the ice-manipulating ninja kid.

"'Welcome home' banners?" asks KH. Zoë points, "Look, there's also some banners signifying they're welcoming you as a national hero or something!" Matt says, "It also says our names too, but they're much smaller." They notice he's pulled out a pair of electronic binoculars, he explained, "Tammy said these were a late Christmas present she was meaning to give me."

Soon when they arrived at Tenaku's docks, the other residents cheered for their Inter-World Kingdom tournament champions!

Helen calls out, "Hit it, everyone!"

Gonna shout it from the mountaintops

A star is born

It's a time for pulling out the stops

A star is born

Honey, hit us with a halleluiah

The kid came shining through

Girl, sing the song

Come blow your horn

A star is born

He's a hero who can please the crowd

A star is born

Come on everybody shout out loud

A star is born

Just remember in the darkest hour

Within your heart's the power

For making you

A hero too

So don't lose hope when you're forlorn

Just keep your eyes upon the skies

Every night a star is

Right in sight a star is

Burning bright a star is born

Like a beacon in the cold dark night

A star is born

Told ya everything would turn out right

A star is born

Just when everything was all at sea

The boy made history

The bottom line

He sure can shine

His rising sign is

Capricorn

He knew "how to"

He had a clue

Telling you a star is born

Here's a hero who can please the crowd

A star is born

Come on everybody shout out loud

A star is born

Just remember in the darkest hour

Within your heart's the power

For making you

A hero too

So don't lose hope when you're forlorn

Just keep your eyes upon the skies

Every night a star is

Right in sight a star is

Burning bright a star is born

(A/N: sorry about all the unoriginal songs, I just like to add some feeling to it)

As KH stood on the roof, looking at the stars, he thinks to himself, ("Lots of adventures are awaiting me… and I'll be ready for them.")

Zoë stands far behind KH's back, "Kuro-Horo…" sighs Zoë, "you've just inspired me to try and find my own path."

To be continued (on the next saga)…

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––Teaser––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

The story's first saga is over but the next saga is coming!

3 months after returning from the Inter-World Kingdom Tournament, Kuro-Horo Utamaru and Zoë Ichigo leave Tenaku for their own adventure. Together with a mysterious beauty named Sakura, they take on more Shadow Gem Carriers who are out for world domination, the blood of anyone carrying a Soul Gem, their individual desires, and most of all; the Carrier of Many Souls (Kuro-Horo himself). Also after hearing of the adventures their friends are having; 2-by-2, KH and Zoë's friends at Tenaku go to bring them back home to the hotel but have their own adventures too.

Next saga; Duel Worlds: Adventures Around the World

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